The newest Fox show, which aired September 17, Red Band Society, has already caused controversy in the streets of LA. The advertisement for the show (above) has been taken down from 190 Metro buses in Los Angeles, California. The show is a comedy-drama based on a group of kids living in a hospital. One has a heart condition, one an eating disorder, some with cancer, and one in a coma.
The ad was part of a campaign to promote Fox’s new show. It is a picture of all the main characters of the show with writing describing a little bit about them. The doctor is called the “Hot Doc,” one girl is called the “Mean Girl,” and one patient is called “The Rebel.” It seems that all the characters are a stereotypical high school kids, only they are not in high school.
The controversial part of this ad is one of the “labels” on the picture. Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer is called the “Scary Bitch.” Her role in the show is the tough nurse who doesn’t take any crap from anyone. Many people, including protestor Jasmyne Cannick, were outraged at the portrayal of this character. In a statement, Cannick said, “I don’t know if I find it more offensive because I’m black, or more offensive because I’m a woman. I sometimes think our city forgets that there are black people that still live here and call Los Angeles home.”
CBS Outdoor on the controversy said, “The advertisement depicts the nicknames of the characters used in the television series. Once we were made aware of public concern, we immediately began to remove the advertisements.” Also, a Fox spokeswoman said “Metro Los Angeles ultimately decided to take down the ads, and we respect that decision.We sincerely apologize if the copy was offensive to viewers.”
The mayor also played a role in the removal of the bus ads. He has asked the ad agency to “tighten up procedures” in regards to what they think is okay to advertise and what could be perceived as offensive to others.
All in all, the ad is not very offensive to me. I do not believe it was Fox’s intentions to produce an offensive advertisement. Octavia Spencer knows her role as the character Nurse Jackson. She is not offended by the characterization of her role, so why should other people? Clearly she knows her part and is okay with playing it.
So what do you think about the advertisement? Offensive or not? Should it have been kept up on the Metro in LA? Is America become too sensitive when it comes to advertising? Is there a line advertisers should not cross?
Fox, L. (2014, September 19). Los Angeles Metro Pulls Fox TV’s “Red Band Society”Ad. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
Quest7. (2014, September 22). ‘Red Band Society’ Ads Taken Down From LA Metro Buses After Complaints. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
Whitcomb, D. (2014, September 19). ‘Red Band Society’ bus ads pulled over sexist, racist language. Retrieved September 23, 2014.